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he be taken, before he reach the place of refuge: He is lost for ever. Does he not hear that warning voice, which sounds in his ear, and falls upon

his heart, to scare it from its slumber? He hears it, he feels it smite upon his soul, and he speeds forward until he has reached the city. The foiled avenger follows hard behind : but now he may not inflict the meditated death. He may

indeed stand forward as an accuser; but as the executioner of his own wrath he cannot appear. There is no condemnation to them who ure in Christ Jesus. It is God that justifieth, who is he that condemneth? The Christian has now an anchor of the soul sure and steadfast, which entereth into that within the veil, He has now"a strong consolation, having fled for refuge to the hope set before him."

Conscience may testify,—the law may plead,—the adversary may accuse, but God will not condemn. If the penitent have sought the city of refuge in the compassions and death of the Son of God, he cannot be taken out of the Almighty hand that hath encompassed his soul from wrath, as if behind ramparts and walls of fire. He must abide the judgment which will undoubtedly be according to righteousness : but he will bring forward his plea, he will refer himself to the conditions of his Redeemer's love and ransom. His cause will be tried, its truth attested, and himself sent

back to that city of safety, where, now and for éver, he shall be with the Lord. He that dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. Flee ye then to the city and sanctuary of your Saviour's grace. He hath shed his blood upon the cross. There look for protection and mercy. He intercedes upon the throne. There approach him. Lay hold on the hope of eternal life. Come my people, enter into thy chambers, and shut thy door about thee: hide thyself, as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast.

II. The CONDITIONS upon which the cities of refuge were granted demand a brief consideration. He who fled thither to avail himself of the privileges which the sacred circle of their walls embraced and conferred, was bound to the performance of some conditions, which, omitted, would have

forfeited his claim to their protection, and sent him forth to die beneath the sword of the avenger of blood.

The offence which he had committed exposed him to the utmost rigour of the law, and gave his life over to the hand of the enemy, unless he could first reach the appointed refuge. He must, therefore, leave all behind, and with unfaltering speed, betake himself to the city. My brethren, one thing is needful. Are you in

deed, exposed to the curse and penalty of God's stern, impartial law? Is there a refuge, a certain deliverance in the gospel of the atonement of Jesus Christ? If you be overtaken by death, before you reach that sanctuary, will you not be delivered over to the avenger of blood for ever? Thus endangered, will ye not flee thither? Will ye not count all things but loss, that you may win Christ, and be found in him ? Escape for thy life ; look not behind thee, neither stay thou in all the plain : escape to the mountain, lest thou be consumed.

Imagine the manslayer to have gained the appointed refuge: there must he abide. If he ventured beyond the city, and its allotted limit, he despised the appointment, and the avenger of blood was free to fall upon him, and take his life. The city, its suburb, and pale, provided all the space which one, whose object was to keep his soul in life, and to whom all beside was as fleeting and unsubstantial as the memory of a vision, would find equal to all his wishes. Abide ye, my brethren, in Christ Jesus, your constituted refuge and safety. Go not forth from-under the shadow of his wing, and from the safety of a blessed communion with him. Whither would the patriarch have turned, had he left the ark; and how could he have avoided the resistless onset of the waters ? Whither would the manslayer flee to avoid his foe, if he left the chosen city? And whither can you resort among


ways of worldly conformity, where your salvation will not be endangered? Will no past and painful experience of weakness and evil, no conscious dread of your great adversary,


careful to abide within the shelter and refuge of an almighty Saviour, that your life may

be hid with Christ in God; that you may receive out of his fulness, and obtain grace to help in time of need; that when Christ, who is your life, shall appear, ye also may appear with him in glory. Rejoice in the blessed persuasion, that an all-sufficient Redeemer will guard your eternal interests, and secure your soul. Believe, that while it is heart's desire, and prayer to God, that you may not be left without his protection, you may exclaim, in a practical acquaintance with the power, love, truth, and faithfulness of him who has undertaken your cause, I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded, that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day. Endeavour to live by faith. The seaman sees not, indeed, the anchor on which his life wholly depends, when it is fixed at the bottom of the sea : but he has examined the ground on which he has cast it. He rejoices to find it resist the strain, and hopes it


will hold his vessel safely, until the storm be overpast. Confide thus in the living Redeemer, in whom, though now ye see him not, yet, believing in him, ye may rejoice with joy unspeakable, and full of glory.

(1.) Who then is thoughtless, and at ease, unsuspicious of danger, when he should be urging his rapid way toward the city of deliverance ? Oh for a spirit of consideration, to extend its salutary influence over that deluded and endangered soul! Are you calm, tranquil, self-possessed, unalarmed? Look behind you, and see that awful form which is pursuing you, with a rapidity, dreadfully contrasted with your own sloth and negligence. You are, perhaps, imagining that all is well, and, that no need of God's appointment for your salvation. You have other reliances-inventions of your own-a provision to resist, to combat, and to overcome the dread avenger, when he shall strike at the everlasting life of your souls. Alas, these creations of a dark and unsanctified imagination, are mere refuges of lies. The broken reeds of Egypt not only failed, but pierced the hands that leaned on them. Pray for the better mind of David. “ My soul trembleth for fear of thee, and I am afraid of thy judgments.” To-day, while it is called today, harden not your hearts. Prepare to meet

you have

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